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Peter O'Connor

Professor and Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management, Essec Business School

Peter O’Connor is Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School, France, where he also serves as Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI) as well as Head of the Department of Information Systems, Statistics and Decision Sciences.  He received his Doctorate in hospitality e-commerce from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh and holds a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Trinity College, Dublin.  His primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and recently launched the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Hotel Distribution (coursera.org/learn/hotel-distribution).

Peter has a deep connection with the hospitality sector.  Previously he served as Academic Director of Institute de Management Hotelier International (IMHI), Europe’s leading MBA program specialising in international hospitality management. Based on his work, he has authored two leading textbooks on technology in the hospitality business - “Using Computers in Hospitality” (now in its fourth edition) and “Electronic Information Distribution in Hospitality and Tourism Industries” 1999), as well as numerous articles in both the trade and academic press.  In addition he serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Information Technology & Tourism, the International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology and The Cornell Hotel Administration Quarterly, and is an active member of organisations such as HITA (Hospitality Information Technology Association), HFTP (Hospitality Finance & Technology Professionals) and IFITT (the International Federation of Information Technology in Tourism).  Peter also serves as Editor-at-large of Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology, a leading industry publication focused on the sector; is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the hotel technology arena. 

In addition to his academic duties, Dr. O’Connor’s has also worked with managers from a large variety of travel industry clients to help shape their electronic distribution and electronic marketing strategies.  A partial list of past clients includes hotel companies such as Accor Hospitality (France); Bass Capital Asset Management (UK); Concorde Hotels & Resorts (France); Dolce International (USA), InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (UK); Kempinski Hotels & Resorts (Switzerland); Leading Hotels of the World, Luxury Lifestyle Hotels (Spain); Sofitel (Brazil); Taj Hotels & Resorts (India); Winn Hotels (Sweden) and Worldhotels (Germany); global contract catering company Sodexo (France); Online travel agents Bookings.com (The Netherlands); WorldRes (UK) and Amisto.com (USA); Internet analysis companies PhoCusWright and Mintel International; travel technology companies Serenata (Germany), Trust International and Visualforma (Portugal); and investment analyst firm the Gerson Lehrman Group (USA). 

Prior to joining Essec, Mr. O’Connor was a lecturer in hospitality computer applications at the Dublin Institute of Technology and an associate lecturer at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin.  He has held a visiting position at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and worked in a wide variety of positions in the international hospitality industry in sectors ranging from luxury hotels to contract food services.